About five years ago, I checked myself into a treatment facility for anorexia. I was addicted to being thin and to controlling my body and myself. I was addicted to the praise, the look, the feel.

Today, I am healed, and I live my life free of the obsession and the fear—free of the dark side of the slimming craze.

The last five years were a revolution of my own spirit, my healthy self that was being muted by shame and the fear of loss.

Many of my clients face the same struggle; they may not be anorexic, but they are addicted to the dream of being thin. Being thin today means being worthy, having made it, being allowed to be seen.

Women today are not allowed to take up space. And the more we do, the more judged and ashamed we feel.

That’s why women are afraid to give up dieting. It’s not the fear of having a different body, but the sheer terror of what having a bigger body means in today’s world.

It is the belief that once they give up dieting, they’ll stop existing. They’ll stop living a life that has the slightest potential of being something special. They’ll stop fighting for a better future.

They’re scared that once they give up dieting, they’re stuck with the life they have now—one that many deem unworthy.

Dieting gives us a promise of a better tomorrow, a better self, and more excitement, more thrill, and more life.

What we don’t see is that it’s not thinness that can give us a better life; it is our own willingness to accept the unacceptable, then slowly change.

Living a better live may simply mean having more me time, laughing more, or trying out a new hobby. Or it could mean leaving your husband, moving across the state, or quitting your job.

For me, creating a better life meant getting to know myself for the first time. It meant allowing myself to claim femininity, to be a woman instead of a child.

I began to relax, to surrender, to lean in, and through this change of my mindset, my life began to be more worthwhile. Now, I have more energy, creativity and fun, and the ability to allow emotions into my life without judgment or shame.

Revolution in the sense of leaving the diet world means that we all must come to a place of unconditional acceptance of what is and then begin to do what is right for us, instead of for the diet industry. Following a diet won’t ever give you happiness and joy, following your body’s signals and your inner guidance will.

Dieting is not the answer, living is.

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Eating Psychology Coach and Life Coach

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt serves women who want OUT of their destructive relationship with food and their bodies by helping them to respect their body wholeheartedly. She is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and Psychology of Eating Coach, founder of the award-winning blog Escape Diet Prison, successful speaker and workshop leader with clients all over the world.